The excitement of crisp white mornings, frozen birdbaths and the expectation of “this year it will snow” start to wear off. Rugging up becomes a chore, cleaning the fire is a bore and we’re getting slightly tired of slow braises, soups, comfort food and eating in the dark.

Thoughts turn to the dwindling woodpile, sourcing table flowers and expectation that spring is around the corner. It’s harder to find colour in the gardens. Camellias are stunning but prove to be challenging as table flowers. The occasional salvia brings highlights but not enough to fill our vases. Yes we have resorted to store bought roses – scentless, expressionless and unable to pass from bud to full gorgeous bloom. We miss you Peace, Ena Harkness and Dame Elizabeth Murdoch. You bud with youthful enthusiasm, develop into beautiful intense colour and age gracefully with pale petals, holding on to your exquisite fragrance.

Today was a dismal day. The last of the previous year’s cumquat marmalade was consumed. Midwinter brings other thrills. Dusty milky light in the afternoon and citrus thrive!

Hope was restored as I was asked to raid a neighbor’s garden. I plundered the cumquats, ravaged the lemon tree and tore strips off the navels!

Back in the kitchens at the Bundanoon Guest House, we fired up the jam pan, preserved, squeezed and pickled the lemons before setting our sights on Limoncello! You’ll have to wait 3 months for that to mature! Hope springs eternal  It may snow in spring! We’ve had the flurries!

However, we will be comforted all year by our cumquat jam, orange marmalade and warmed by limoncello. Come visit The Bundanoon Guest House soon.